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Patricia Betrus PhD., RN, PMHCNS-BC

Associate Professor Emerita
Specialty Lead
Peri-Natal Mental Health
Interprofessional Experience Grant

I first came to the University as a masters student in 1977. I completed a Masters in Psychosocial Nursing. I was hired to open and be clinical director of a nursing-operated clinical in the SON, the Stress Management Clinic. At the same time I entered the Psychology department PhD program. My focus was on neurophysiology and neuroendocrinology. I worked and attended school, and upon graduation became an assistant professor in the Psychosocial Department, of the SON. Within 6 months I had a 5 year grant to work on treating women with depression, comparing group therapy with individual therapy. The model mixed interpersonal therapeutics with physiological relaxation techniques.
I continued teaching and and doing research. My research indicated that many of the women who were depressed in their late 30’s and early 40’s had experienced violence, either in childhood or as young adults. My research interests began to move toward viewing mental health/illness through a trauma model, which lead to looking at growth and development, attachment and trauma. The guiding framework I use for examining these variable is epigenesis. This involves brain and environment changes, which re-shape the brain and behavior/environment milieu. Most recently, I worked with a PhD student from Turkey who was interested in gender equality as an intervention with young men to lessen the rate of domestic violence in Turkey.

What classes do you teach?

Nurs546-Interpersonal Aspects of Behavior
Nurs549- Psychosocial Assessment
Nurs516/517/518-Advanced Clinical Practicum
In past: Nurs304/308-Human Responses I and II
NSG557-Pathophysiology across the lifespan

What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?

I love the students and faculty.


Psychosocial and Community Health

Research Areas

  • Innovative Interventions
  • Symptom Science
  • Health Equity
  • Lifespan Health
Picture of  Patricia Betrus

University of Washington School of Nursing
Box 357263
1959 NE Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98195